Hayao Nakayama

Last updated
Hayao Nakayama
Native name
中山 隼雄
Born (1932-05-21) 21 May 1932 (age 87)
Occupation Consultant Microsoft, Virgin Play, Former President Sega

Hayao Nakayama(中山 隼雄,Nakayama Hayao, born 21 May 1932) is a Japanese businessman and was the former President and CEO of Sega Enterprises, Ltd from 1983 to 1999.

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd. since 2015. Both companies are subsidiaries of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is in turn a part of Sega Sammy Holdings.

Contents

Early life and career

Nakayama was born into a family of doctors, and was expected to pursue medicine as a career. However, Nakayama decided to drop out of college and not to pursue medicine further. Through an advertisement in a newspaper, Nakayama found a job as a jukebox leasing salesman. When the company would not take his advise to begin distributing arcade games, at the time a new industry, Nakayama formed his own company to do so. Nakayama's company was called Esco Trading. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. was one of its suppliers. [1]

Jukebox device to play music singles with

A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons, with letters and numbers on them, which, when one of each group entered after each other, are used to select a specific record.

Arcade game Coin-operated entertainment machine

An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost. The eastern hemisphere retains a strong arcade industry.

Career with Sega

In 1979, Esco Trading was purchased by Sega, [2] at the time a subsidiary of Gulf and Western Industries. [3] This brought Nakayama into the company, where he was placed in charge of Sega's Japanese operations and named vice president of distribution. [1] [4] David Rosen, who was the CEO of Sega at the time, stated that he acquired Esco Trading mainly for Nakayama's leadership. [2] In the early 1980s, Sega was one of the top five arcade game manufacturers active in the United States, [5] but a downturn in the arcade business starting in 1982 led Gulf and Western to sell its North American manufacturing and the licensing rights for its arcade games to Bally Manufacturing, [6] [7] while retaining the Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. [8]

Gulf and Western Industries American conglomerate (1934-1989)

Gulf and Western Industries, Inc., was an American conglomerate. Gulf and Western's origins date to a manufacturer named the Michigan Bumper Company founded in 1934, although Charles Bluhdorn treated his 1958 takeover as its "founding" for the purpose of later anniversaries. Through asset management, the company's non-publishing and entertainment assets were dismantled; with the company re-branding as Paramount Communications in 1989 after Paramount Pictures. The company's current remnants operate as Viacom and CBS Corporation.

David Rosen is an American businessman and the co-founder of the Japanese video game company Sega. He retired from the company as Chairman in 1996.

Bally Manufacturing Former American corporation

Bally Manufacturing, later renamed Bally Entertainment, was an American company that began as a pinball and slot machine manufacturer, and later expanded into casinos, video games, health clubs, and theme parks. It was acquired by Hilton Hotels in 1996. Its brand name is still used by several businesses previously linked to Bally Manufacturing, most notably Bally Technologies.

Nakayama was named president of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. in July 1983. [9] During the decline, Nakayama advocated for the company to use its hardware expertise to move into the home console market in Japan, which was in its infancy at the time. [8] . Nakayama received permission to proceed, leading to the release of Sega's first home video game system, the SG-1000. [10] The SG-1000 sold 160,000 units in sales in 1983, far exceeding Sega's projection of 50,000 units. [11] Shortly after the launch of the SG-1000, and the death of company founder Charles Bludhorn, Gulf and Western began to divest its secondary businesses. [12] Nakayama and Rosen arranged a management buyout of the Japanese subsidiary in 1984 with financial backing from CSK Corporation, a prominent Japanese software company. [13] Sega's Japanese assets were purchased for $38 million by a group of investors led by Rosen and Nakayama. Isao Okawa, chairman of CSK, became chairman, [14] while Nakayama was installed as CEO of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. [15]

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

SG-1000 video game console manufactured by Sega

The SG-1000 is a home video game console manufactured by Sega and released in Japan, Australia, and other regions. It was Sega's first entry into the home video game hardware business. Introduced in 1983, the SG-1000 was released on the same day that Nintendo released the Family Computer in Japan. The SG-1000 was released in several forms, including the SC-3000 computer and the redesigned SG-1000 II released in 1984. A third iteration of the console, the Sega Mark III, released in 1985. It provided a custom video display processor over previous iterations and served as the basis for the Master System in 1986, Sega's first internationally-released console.

Charles George Bluhdorn was an Austrian-born American industrialist.

While the company faced steep competition as its Master System competed with the Nintendo Entertainment System, [16] with the arcade game market once again in growth at the end of 1980s, Sega was one of the most recognized game brands. [17] For homes, Sega released the Master System's successor, the Mega Drive, in Japan on October 29, 1988, which remained a distant third in Japan behind Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine throughout the 16-bit era. [18] For the North American launch, the console, rebranded Genesis, was launched in a limited number of markets on August 14, 1989, and in the rest of North America later that year. [19] The European version of the Mega Drive was released in September 1990. [20] Nakayama tasked Sega of America CEO Michael Katz to sell one million units within the first year, using the rallying cry "Hyakumandai!". [lower-alpha 1] Katz and Sega of America managed to sell only 500,000 units. [21] In mid-1990, Nakayama hired Tom Kalinske to replace Katz as CEO of Sega of America. Kalinske developed a four-point plan to boost Genesis sales: cut the price of the console, create a U.S.-based team to develop games targeted at the American market, continue and expand aggressive advertising campaigns, and replace the bundled game Altered Beast with a new game, Sonic the Hedgehog . [22] The Japanese board of directors initially disapproved of the plan, [23] but all four points were approved by Nakayama, who told Kalinske, "I hired you to make the decisions for Europe and the Americas, so go ahead and do it." [24] In large part due to the popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog, the Genesis outsold the SNES in the United States nearly two to one during the 1991 holiday season. This success led to Sega having control of 65% of the 16-bit console market in January 1992. [25] In 1993, Nakayama brought Shoichiro Irimajiri into the company. [26] [27] Irimajiri had previously been an executive at Honda. [1] In 1992, Nakayama was also named chairman of the Japan Amusement Machinery Manufactures Association. [9]

Master System Video game console

The Sega Master System (SMS) is a third-generation 8-bit home video game console manufactured by Sega. It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A Japanese version of the Master System was also launched in 1987, which features a few enhancements over the export models : a built-in FM audio chip, a rapid-fire switch, and a dedicated port for the 3D glasses. A cost-reduced model known as the Master System II was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.

Nintendo Entertainment System 8-bit home video game console released by Nintendo in 1983

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit home video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in the test markets of New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, with a full launch in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics which is now SK Hynix; the Comboy was released in 1989.

Sega Genesis Fourth-generation home video game console and fourth developed by Sega

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside of North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis is Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by North America as the Genesis in 1989. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tectoy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

Sega began development of its next console, the Sega Saturn, but Nakayama was concerned about the release of the Atari Jaguar in 1993 and that the Saturn may not be ready for release in time to compete. He stressed a quick response, which led to the development of the 32X. [28] Following the launch of the next-generation 32-bit Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, sales of 16-bit hardware and software continued to account for 64% of the video game market in 1995. [29] However, Nakayama made the decision to focus on the Saturn over the Genesis, based on the systems' relative performance in Japan. This decision has been cited as the major contributing factor in a miscalculation that reduced Sega's sales. [29] [30] Because the decisions of Sega of Japan had caused him to lose interest, Kalinske departed Sega of America in 1996, and was replaced by Irimajiri. [4] Nakayama resigned his position as co-chairman of Sega of America, though he remained with the company. [26] [31]

Sega Saturn Video game console

The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.

Atari Jaguar video game console

The Atari Jaguar is a home video game console that was developed by Atari Corporation. The console is the sixth programmable console to be developed under the Atari brand, originally released in North America in November 1993. It is also the last Atari console to use physical media. Controversially, Atari marketed the Jaguar as being the first 64-bit video game console, while competing with the existing 16-bit consoles and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer platform.

32X Add-on for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. The add-on was distributed under the name Super 32X in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.

In January 1997, Sega announced its intentions to merge with Bandai, a Japanese toy maker that was Japan's largest and the world's third largest at the time. The merger, planned as a $1 billion stock swap whereby Sega would wholly acquire Bandai, was set to form a planned company known as Sega Bandai, Ltd. [32] [33] Plans for the merger were necessitated by the struggling financial state of both Sega and Bandai, with Bandai announcing their anticipated loss for the fiscal year and Sega announcing a lower than expected profit. [33] Initially planned to be finalized in October of that year, the merger was called off in May 1997. The following day, Bandai president Makoto Yamashina resigned his position, [32] taking responsibility for the failed merger and apologizing publicly for his inability to get the merger completed. In a separate press conference, Nakayama elaborated on his reason for agreeing to cancel the acquisition of Bandai, stating, "We will not be successful working together if Bandai's management cannot take hold of people's hearts." [34] As a result of the company's deteriorating financial situation, Nakayama resigned as president of Sega in January 1998 in favor of Irimajiri. [35] It has been speculated that Nakayama's resignation was in part due to the failure of the Sega Bandai merger, as well as Sega's 1997 performance. [36]

Later career and life

In 1999, Nakayama was named chairman of the board of Pasona Inc. In March of 2000, he was named president of Cavia Inc., and became chairman of AQ Interactive in 2005. [9] He has served roles at Microsoft Japan and Virgin PLAY. [37] Currently, he is the CEO and chairman of Amuse Capital. [9]

See also

Notes

  1. Japanese:百万代 Hepburn:Hyakumandai ? , Million

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